Audit evidence is information needed by the auditor in order to reach the conclusion on whether financial statements show a true and fair view.
The qualities of good audit evidence are determined in relation to its relevance, reliability, and Sufficiency.
Good audit evidence must be relevant to the matter and consideration which purport to answer. Audit evidence is relevant when it relates to the assertion which it intends to verify. For example inspection of non-current assets is relevant for verifying the existence of non-current assets but not for verifying its ownership.
Reliability of audit evidence
This refers to the extent to which the auditor can base his opinion on the evidence considered. The following rules apply in relation to reliability:
- External evidence is more reliable than internal evidence
- Documentary evidence is more reliable than oral evidence
- Auditor’s own evidence is more reliable than those of others
- Original evidence is more reliable than photocopies
- Multiple evidence is more reliable than single evidence
- Internal evidence is more reliable when the internal control is strong
Sufficiency of audit evidence
The sufficiency of audit evidence measures the quantity of audit evidence needed to reach the proper conclusion. The auditor must use his professional judgement to determine the level of evidence that is adequate for the formation of his opinion. This judgement will depend on:
- How persuasive the evidence is
- The auditor’s knowledge of the business
- The level of reliability of the internal control System
- The level of audit risk involved.
- Level of materiality determined by the auditor.